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1818, short for pâté de foie gras (see pate (n.2)). Pâté de foie gras (1827 in English) is literally "pie of fat liver;" originally served in a pastry (as still in Alsace), the phrase now chiefly in English with reference to the filling.
a delicacy of French cuisine, the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened by a process of force-feeding. What is generally regarded as the best foie gras is produced in the province of Strasbourg. Foie gras is ideally very firm and smoothly textured, with a colouring of creamy white tinged with pink.